Las Vegas II: Jack Beckman Saturday summary

NO. 4 QUALIFIER BECKMAN PUMPED AFTER CAREER-BEST SPEED IN VEGAS QUALIFYING LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28, 2006) - You don't get the nickname "Fast Jack" by being slow, and Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger driver Jack Beckman just upped his ante by ...

NO. 4 QUALIFIER BECKMAN PUMPED AFTER CAREER-BEST SPEED IN VEGAS QUALIFYING

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28, 2006) - You don't get the nickname "Fast Jack" by being slow, and Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger driver Jack Beckman just upped his ante by running a career-best Funny Car speed of 330.39 mph in qualifying for the ACDelco NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Beckman qualified No. 4, posting a 4.720-second lap at 330.39 mph in the final qualifying session today, marking also the second quickest pass of that session.

Two of his three prior attempts were also strong and included a 4.824/322.81 and a 4.770/328.46. His only hiccup was a tire-shaking 6.656/123.24 lap in the third round.

"Those are milestone times," said Beckman, competing in only his fourth Funny Car national event. "Going 325 is cool, but most people remember stuff in increments of 10, and 330 is a magic number because of the rev limiters on the cars. And the way they keep changing the rules to slow these cars down, you're probably not going to see much more of that.

"Running a 330 puts you with an elite group of drivers (Beckman becomes only the 11th Funny Car driver to reach that mark), and it is amazing to do that in just my fourth race in a Funny Car. We went 269 to half-track, and it wasn't too long ago that Don Garlits broke 270 in Gainesville (Fla.) in 1986, and that was just unheard of for the quarter-mile. We're doing that in a Funny Car to half-track now," he said.

"When these cars get hooked up, they really accelerate and they don't try to move themselves as much as when you drop a cylinder and put a hole (cylinder) out," offered Beckman, the 2003 NHRA Super Comp champion.

"We're No. 4. If we do what we are supposed to do, we'll race the No. 1 qualifier in the semifinals. There isn't any reason we shouldn't do what we are supposed to do, but, that being said, I'm not overlooking (Gary) Densham in the first round. The weather could equalize a lot of stuff tomorrow.

"I've never felt so optimistic going into race day in my Nitro career. We have a car that can go out and win on Sunday, and that's the goal, obviously. You always say that, but now I know we have horsepower behind that statement.

"It would be awesome to do well here for all the Matco Tools distributors who support us."

Beckman matches up against No. 13 qualifier Gary Densham in the opening round of eliminations.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham , Don Garlits , Jack Beckman